With a Wink and a Smile

Yo! So I’m currently in this contest to go to the Breaking Bad finale in LA, which I’ve been desperately wishin’ and hopin’ to go to for a long while now. The contest is based on coming up with toasts, but I thought, just in the interest of trying everything I can, I’d also throw out a pitch.

This make me so uncomfortable (and I really hope the places where I make fun of myself come across) but here goes:

Top Ten Reasons You Should Pick Me for ToastingBad

jessewalt10. Wanting it More

Whispers about the finale event at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery started in February. And ever since then, I’ve always kept one dedicated window on my phone’s internet browser open to a google search for “breaking bad finale hollywood forever” and would refresh it on a daily basis in hopes of new updates. For months and months, there was nothing new. In June and July the news started picking up and in August ticket info was finally available. At noon on September 4, 2013, I sat here at my computer with two browsers open, refreshing the ticket page on each like a madwoman. But even with all that, it went from “not onsale yet” to “no more tickets available” with one click of the refresh button on each browser. I was so crushed that I wrote a post about it.

In Season 5 of The Office, Michael Scott tries to start his own paper company. He has his first meeting with investors, and of course it turns out to be his grandmother’s investment group. When Michael’s Nana asks him how he expects to turn a profit in this economy, Michael says, “By wanting it more” This answer is hilarious, ridiculous and quintessential Michael. I realize that winning the chance to go to the Breaking Bad finale is a much bigger stretch than Michael Scott launching a successful paper company on his own, that my odds are WAY worse than his (which is saying something sorta astronomical), but I think I can make a case for wanting it more. Or at least wanting it really, really badly.

Point is, I was tracking this event for a over six months. The timing of the event fit my schedule so well (which came as a surprise) that it felt destined. And that’s gotta count for something, right, Nana?

9. Contributions to the Breaking Bad Community

I blog here, a lot, about Breaking Bad. My post How Walter White Poisoned Brock and What Happened to the Ricin Cigarette, which walks through the whole tangled web of lies Walt wove, step-by-step, with episode titles, pictures and detailed discussion to illuminate what happened and how Jesse finally figured it out, has helped more than TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND people (check it: photo evidence from my stats page) understand that plotline. One commenter even said, “This convoluted plot seems to be all crystal clear now about 99.1%. :) Thanks Emilia J I’m going to marry you!” This post has been linked at IMDB, televisionwithoutpity, a Radiohead forum, the Breaking Bad wiki, a bodybuilding forum, the AMC Breaking Bad site, TV Guide, and many, many other sites. Greg Otto linked it in his review of a Game of Thrones episode (it’s the “near-deaths” link) in US News and World Report.

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 3.34.42 PMI’ve also debunked fake script leaks, discussed Walt’s moral decay, analyzed why Breaking Bad needed a Season 5, published detailed predictions last summer and this summer, reviewed every episode, even going back during this last year to review all the episodes from the first four seasons (from before I started this blog). I wrote these posts while in the midst of taking full-time classes at my university and working part-time tutoring and teaching organic chemistry to college kids.

And why? Out of love for the show, admiration for the power and intricacy of the writing and the attention to detail and story, the gorgeous cinematography. This season, I live, eat and breathe Breaking Bad so much that I can’t remember the last time something related to the show didn’t enter my dreams. The point is, there’s a lively community here now, so much that we now have Live Chats during and right after episodes so people can discuss it all while I work on the episode write-up.

8. Yeah, That Happened

I just read tarot cards for fictional characters for fuck’s sake! If that’s not some psychotic level of devotion, I don’t know what is. But don’t worry, it’s not like Todd-licking-Lydia’s-lipstick-on-the-mug level psychotic, just your garden variety fangirl. Who just read tarot cards. For fictional characters. Yeah.

photo17. As Jesse Might Say

I’m an albino with purple hair. And that’s like, as rare as “finding a new methylamine hookup…like Bigfoot, like Unicorn rare.” All’s I’m sayin.’

And speaking of things that are impossible, I played the Omaze game too, entered the sweepstakes. But I’m a scientist, and I know the odds of winning that would be like the odds of seeing Bigfoot holding a barrel of methylamine while riding in on a unicorn. I’m not holding my breath for that, but I’m still exhausting all options. Plus I was happy to give a little extra $ to Kind Campaign (in fact had donated to KC once awhile back before it was tied in with any chances at going to the Breaking Bad series finale) because I was bullied as a kid and I believe in the cause.

6. Right On

In my post for episode 513 “To’hajiilee,” I wrote detailed predictions about who would live and die as a result of the shootout. I based them all on storytelling logic, and as it was revealed in the next episode, “Ozymandias,” ALL MY PREDICTIONS WERE RIGHT. Hank dies, Jesse lives, Gomez dies, Todd lives, Walt lives (well, that last one was a given).

As horrific as it was to watch everything crumble to ruins in “Ozymandias,” the glory of getting it right? That felt like the rush immediately after the great methylamine train robbery. I wanted to dance around and yell “Yeah bitch!” just like Jesse. Luckily, no innocent kids were shot in this aftermath.

I’m also doing really well on BettingBad, a fun game based on predicting the season. All bets had to be placed before the premiere aired. I’m in the top 3.7%. If that were a purity level, it wouldn’t quite be Heisenberg pure, but just above Jesse’s cook in Mexico. So there’s that.

Screen Shot 2013-09-21 at 8.25.00 PM5. Because She Said So

A stranger, someone from the UK who I connected with only via Twitter, told Aaron Paul that he should give me a ticket. This was right after I’d tried to get a ticket when they went onsale and failed. And, not to get all sappy but it really touched my heart, for real, that someone I didn’t know would say that. It somehow meant more that it wasn’t someone who was just saying that because they know me and my obsession for the show. It came as an absolute surprise, and I was touched.

Just read what she said and let that sink in.

4. What Writer’s Dreams May Come

Before tickets went onsale and I couldn’t get one, back when I arrogantly, like Walt, thought I would undoubtedly be able to score one on force of will alone, I imagined writing about the finale event here on my site. I’ve loved writing about Breaking Bad for the last year and a half on here, and I know those days are coming to an end. Sure, there will be plenty to discuss and dissect after it’s all said and done, but it won’t be the same, not once the show is over. I know the Breaking Bad posts will get sparser and in a year or two, it’ll mostly be writing samples and book reviews and posts about other shows and posts about writing. And I’ll love it, but it won’t be the same. An era is coming to a close, this wonderful horrible gorgeous world of Walt and his family and Jesse and exploding heads on turtles and a fly in the lab and Walt Whitman’s poetry and beautiful meth-cooking montages and desert shootouts. It’ll be awhile until there’s a show with as much to dig into.

In the face of that loss, not that it’ll really make it hurt any less, I was looking forward to writing about the finale event here as some sort of last hurrah, something to share in addition to a dissection of the final episode itself, a peak experience if you will. A fitting end to this amazing journey, not just of the show but being here to witness and write about it all. I’ve read that there will be a Q&A with the writers and the cast after the showing of the finale, and as an aspiring writer, it would be amazing to be there for that. And just the chance–even if it didn’t actually happen–to meet anyone involved with the show at the afterparty, especially any of the writers, well that would be like summiting Everest of peak experience.

And of course, I’d write about the awesomeness of The AV Club and Bushmills USA for putting this all together, because seriously, regardless of who wins, the fact that they’re doing this at all is supremely freakin’ rad. And that would mean some free publicity for your awesomeness. So, everybody wins.

3. The Hideous Crying Clown(s)

Speaking of loss and sadness, let’s be real. There is a very, very good chance that this finale will be heart-wrenching. I’ve been having trouble sleeping after these last few episodes, just wishing I had someone to hold me to help me calm down, because of the anxiety and anticipation of what’ll happen next to whom, but with the finale, there is no more next. And that alone is enough to make a grown woman weep. It’s more than that though. If the buildup this season is any indication, the finale will be full of all-consuming betrayals, subtle tragedies and epic loss. I might just need the comfort of thousands of other BrBa fans as we all sob silently, alone and yet together, watering the graveyard with our tears.

2. Identity Changer

Like someone who’s gone through Saul’s disappearer, Emilia Jordan is not my real name, which I’ve never admitted publicly before. I took on a pseudonym to keep my life in the sciences separate from my life as a writer, so I could be raw and real in my writing without it affecting my science career, and because there’s another published author with an almost identical name to my real one. I’ve been living with this new identity for over a year now, and Saul says there’s no going back once you request a new a dust filter for a Hoover Max Extract® 60 Pressure Pro™, there’s no going back. But if I should win this contest, and if in doing so my real name comes out (it would almost have to, obviously, since I would fly using my real name), so be it.

Now where’s my Hello Kitty cell phone, Mr. Goodman? I already have the ringtone…

1. Going All Testicular on This Situation

This post was not easy to write. Actually, once I got started, I had fun with it, layering in all the BrBa lines and riffing around. But thinking about writing this post made me supremely uneasy. A few days ago, before I found out about this contest, I thought about posting something similar, just putting it out there in the world and hoping someone would take pity on me and sell me their tickets at a reasonable price (I’m not a meth cook, yo; I don’t got barrels to bargain with here) or something. But I couldn’t do it. It just felt somehow wrong. I don’t like pity, and like Hank, I don’t beg. Pride, yo.

For some reason, though, once I found out about the contest, writing this post no longer felt quite so…gross. But it still felt uncomfortable and really selfish. I know everyone else sending tweets in to ToastingBad wants to go just as badly as I do, or almost as much. And I don’t want to piss anyone off or step on anyone’s toes. And writing this felt a little scary for some reason. I know I’m running the risk of being totally obnoxious here and annoying someone so much that they specifically don’t pick me because of it (if that’s the case, just don’t tell me, okay? Just don’t). But you know? I just couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t give this all I’ve got, go totally “balls to the wall” so to speak and put this out there.

And I know in reality it’s unlikely that anyone involved in the contest would read it. But still, for my own peace of mind, I had to do it.

tumblr_mt8n696pFa1rmysjdo1_500And the one thing I’ve learned from Breaking Bad? Fuck pride. I would beg. And borrow and steal, walk across an ocean and all that jazz people say. I want to go the finale so bad I’d even be willing to spend a few days in Todd’s scary dungeon (shudder!) if that’s what it took. And now we’ve circled back to the beginning, that ephemeral, unmeasurable “wanting it more.”

Because I do.

THE TOASTS

And look at all these toasts you have to choose from! And I didn’t spell major characters’ names wrong or completely bastardize the meaning of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle! (Told you, I’m a science tutor, that shit bugs.)

Here they are:

  • “To Tio Salamanca, I want to roll you further, bitch.”
  • “To my favorite W.W.
     
    It’s an honour watching you.
     
    Fondly,
    E.J.”
  • “To Jesse, my favorite “Freak on a Leash,” now your life really is Kafkaesque!
    Said with love, yo!”

(Thought I should clarify that, because to someone unfamiliar with my undying rabid dog loyalty to Team Jesse, it could just sound cruel. Also liked using a KoRn song title in there, since Aaron Paul was once in a KoRn video. This is my personal favorite, but I realize it’s kinda freakin’ weird).

  • “To Gale Boetticher, I doff my proverbial cap to you, sir! Because you’re like, unicorn rare.”
  • “To Badger, you’re now inducted into Every Would-Be Writer Anywhere Ever because you ‘Just gotta write it down is all!'”
  • “To Walter and Skyler White, you FINALLY got the beige memo! #InnerCircle (Toast by Gretchen and Elliot Schwartz)”
  • “To Jesse P, I’ll Gatorade you, bitch! You look like you could use some electrolytes.”
  • “To Saul, who’ll never EVER forget the crash of Wayfarer 515 or the victims of its debris.”

(Yeah he’s STILL wearing the ribbon).

  • “To Lydia, let’s raise a mug of bergamot tea (with soy milk instead of dairy). Drink your hot water!”
  • “To Jane for the best worst junkie line to an angry dad, ‘We talk about rehab every day, it’s his idea.'”
  • “To Saul and his new adventures! Nebraska may be no Florida but at least it’s not Belize!”

~Emilia J

P.S. I want this to be fun for my regular readers too, because seriously, the chance that anyone involved in the contest will actually read this? Or that it will sway them? Not too good. So, in this post, I’ve buried a lot of Breaking Bad Easter Eggs. Some are obvious, some are more subtle, little lines of dialogue and such.

So this can also be a scavenger hunt. For the first three people that contact me with at least ten (there are more), and what episode (or scene if you don’t know the episode) they’re from, I’ll send you homemade pumpkin bread or something, with a character’s name of your choice spelled out in cinnamon on top (hey it’s fall now, and I like to bake, so, yeah).

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5 thoughts on “With a Wink and a Smile

  1. Here’s a toast: “Here’s to you & for you & to you again. If I hadn’t of metcha, I wouldn’t have letcha. But I metcha, and I letcha, and I betcha if I metcha again, I’d letcha do it again! Sent from my LG phone

  2. Hi Emilia,

    I would be totally dissapointed with every one involved if you couldn’t attend the “finals”. Vince G.

    should give you an personal invitation, since you did so much work for the BB community. You are f

    for sure the well deserved winner, my princess of hearts anyway. ( I hope that wasn’t to corny)

    Good luck

    Marcel

    • Awww, thank so much Marcel. Sadly, I didn’t win the ToastingBad contest. They picked someone else. I’m sad about it – I wanted to go SO bad – but it was still fun to come up with toasts and I’m glad I gave it all I got!

      And there’s nothing wrong with corny. That made my day!

      ~EJ

    • Thanks Pablo! I love that there are so many people from different countries around the world who are posting here and talking about BrBa.

      Sadly, I didn’t win the contest though :(

      BTW I’m still working on the post for “Granite State” – it’s been a busy week with a lot going on. Hoping to post it tomorrow.

      Thanks for all the love,
      EJ

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